Ending a sensational semi-final in Ranji Trophy, Vidarbha cliched a victory over Karnataka, the eight-time champion. The win by 5 runs came up after an intensive game from Vidarbha, breaking in the team for the maiden final fixture of the tournament’s history. A prime credit goes to Rajneesh Gurbani, picking up Karnataka wickets to wrap up the inning at 192.
Thus, Karnataka had the combined tally of 301 adding to the second inning score. Vidarbha scored 185 and 313 runs in its innings to remain ahead in the match. The team did not feature strong scores as that of Karnataka, but a strong defense propelled by Gurbani in the final inning emerged as the turning point for the team.
The bowler finished with 7 wickets for 68 runs in the inning. There was a strong resistance from Karnataka batting lineup, with average score throughout the inning. Unlike the first inning, there were contributions from several batsmen even at the lower order, keeping the chase alive. Mayank Agarwal was removed early, R Samarth added 24 as the opener. Karun Nair scored 30 in a cameo partnership among CM Gautam and Vinay Kumar. The middle order knock hauled the chase to a comfortable 141, but by the 50th over eight wickets were down.
The attack was all from Gurbani that set off with Nair’s wicket at the 32nd over. The bowler ducked Stuart Binny after a couple of overs, followed by CM Gautam and K Gowtham. Karnataka plummeted from 81 for 4 to 104 for 7, losing three wickets for less than 15 runs. Still, the chase was alive with the last wickets.
Shreyas Gopal added 24 and Abhimanyu Mithun scored an excellent 33 pulling the chase. It was Gurbani again who struck the last wickets taking down Mithun and S Aravind. After Mithun was removed, the chase came up to Gopal and Aravind pairing up for the last mile. When the victory was just six runs away, Gurbani did away with Aravind’s wicket. Karnataka created a record entering its maiden Ranji Final.
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